The shipping industry is highly competitive and the laws that govern it are complex. It has to adapt to ever-changing market, technological and political forces, and environmental constraints. As the industry adapts, so do the laws by which it is regulated.
In a typical shipping business, commercial decisions have to be taken on a day-to-day basis and disputes are not uncommon. It is not surprising that most people engaged in the business have built up a substantial practical knowledge of shipping law and are keen to maintain an awareness of changes in the law that might impact on their businesses.
In most cases this practical knowledge enables negotiated settlements of disputes and informed commercial decisions to be made, however, because of the complexity of the legal systems and the very nature of the business there are often cases where disputes cannot be solved between the parties and where advice must be sought from a specialist.
We encourage our clients to seek our advice immediately they are faced with a commercial decision whose legal implications are unclear. If such advice is obtained in the early stages of a dispute or before a commercial decision is taken it can save time and money. We believe that such advice should be a two-way process, an exchange of ideas and views.